Sunday

Tagbanua Political Structure





Masicampo
-A Masicampo is the primary leader among all the traditional leaders and other non Christian cultural communities whose authority extends throughout the mainland Palawan.
-Considered as the patriarch of the IPs of Palawan, settling disputes, imposing tribal laws (adat), appointing traditional leaders (bageral), and solemnizing tribal marriages.
- It is common belief among the Tagbanuas and Pala’wan of mainland Palawan that there shall be only one legitimate Masicampo of Palawan. To avoid conflicting views to the customary laws.
- in case of death of a Masicampo or upon his incapacity, the elders among the clans of the Family with the Bloodline of Masicampo also called as the Usba e’t Masicampo will convene for the purpose of choosing among them who will be the next Masicampo. The Masicampo will be chosen by a consensus of the Usba e’t Masicampothe council of the elders of the clan. Women, youngsters and non members of the family are prohibited to participate in the deliberation.
Maradia
                                                         i.                    Maradia et Masicampo
-A position held by persons with the bloodline of a Masicampo. He also renders assistance with the Masicampo and performs other duties assigned to him by the latter.
- In case of death of the Masicampo he is tasked to gather all the council of elders (usba et’ Masicampo) to convene for the selection of the new Masicampo.
                                                       ii.                    Maradia et Manlalambay
-                 A position/ title acquired by a bageral through hierarchy and consanguinity. He must be comprehensively knowledgeable of the lambay ritual and other laws concerning thereto.
                                                      iii.                    Maradia
-                 Assists the local bagerals in settling disputes (surrugiden).
-                 This position has a broader aspect of responsibilities with respect to juridical duties to local leaders.
                                                     iv.                    Pangiran
-                 Acts as a consultant of local leaders and even among other functionaries. The position, like other noble titles he must have a consanguinity to the position itself.
                                                       v.                    Laksamana
-                 Considered as one of the high positions among the bagerals in the ancient period he is labeled as “commander of hundreds”.
-                 He is a well respected man, most especially during the conduct of surrugiden. The position is commonly inherited by hereditary succession.
                                                     vi.                    Pangandelan
-                 Appointee of a Masicampo which acts as a commissary to a certain task given or designated to him. Position acquired not by consanguinity but through the recognition of the Masicampo.
                                                    vii.                    Panglima
-                 A local leader acting as chairman among bagerals and ginuu.
-                 Decides on delicate issues in his area of responsibility
-                 Enforces the traditional laws among his constituents
-                 Acquire through hereditary succession
                                                  viii.                    Orangkaya
-                 During the jural proceedings he investigates both parties
-                 Giving analysis of the case
-                 Requires consanguinity to the family
                                                     ix.                    Satya (secretary)
-                 Keeping records of the minutes of the surrugiden/ betiara
-                 Position is acquired through designation or consanguinity
                                                       x.                    Pangarapan/ Pangara (clerk)
-                 His role is giving remarks before any meetings or council gatherings.
                                                     xi.                    Parakasa
-                 Reminding the congregation of the rules and regulations
-                 Amuses the audience if necessary
                                                    xii.                    Mudadi
-                 Acts as summon officer, brings tidings or any important news
                                                  xiii.                    Aguasil/ Agwasil
o   Like the Mudadi, he acts as summon officer and maintains peace and order especially during council meetings
                                                  xiv.                    Digadong
-                 He acts as bondsman during surrugiden/ betiara
                                                   xv.                    Saribangsawan
-                 Acts a lawyer and a law enforcer
                                                  xvi.                    Tumanggong
-                 In charge of pecuniary aspect in the political structure
                                                xvii.                    Nakib
-                 Expert in natural medicine and in charge of religious rites
                                               xviii.                    Sabandar
-                 In Charge of the labor force
                                                  xix.                    Manlalambay
-                 A designated individual deeply experienced in performing rituals i.e. Lambay et uran, lambay et init, sin atonement and lambay et ginuu.
                                                   xx.                    Babalyan/ Balyan
-                 A priest who acts as a medium to the diwata and tiladmanen
                                                  xxi.                    Taga – Iring
o    Assistant to Babalyan
                                                xxii.                    Other minor hereditary titles serves as an aide to major hereditary leaders.

Note:
All titles mentioned have a juridical capability to conduct surrugiden/ betiara except the babalya’/ balya’ and its taga- iring which is commonly held by women.
Women are not allowed to conduct surrugiden / betiara nor can give a decision  or okoman unless they were given permission or invited to attend.
To be a ginuu, he must be well versed of the adat (customary laws) practiced by the elders. If he is a bageral or a traditional leader, he must know the osol or genealogy of his family/ clan. He must be able to give fair judgement and he must act accordingly in a manner of a gentleman- a leader deserving the respect of his position.
There are no caretakers to the position of a bagerals unless he is related by consanguinity to the title. Decision making is through a consensus among the council of elders.

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